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Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall has expressed grave concerns at the Government’s delay in publishing a green list of countries that are deemed safe or low-risk.

Speaking earlier today, Deputy Shortall said we now have “the worst of both worlds” when it comes to the serious risk posed by tourists travelling into Ireland from countries with high infection rates, such as the USA.

She said: “We heard stories over the weekend about 14 flights arriving here from the United States and tourists being able to move around the country without restriction. While there is supposed to be self-isolation, there is no legal requirement for this. The reality is that many visitors who arrive here are not answering the follow-up calls when attempts are made to contact them by the Irish authorities.

“The absence of a green list means we are unable to distinguish between safe and high-risk countries. Irish people have made great progress in supressing the spread of Covid-19 in recent months but this drift with foreign travel is putting our health and economy in jeopardy.”

Deputy Shortall said Government guidelines on foreign travel had been vague and ambiguous, which had led to considerable confusion on the issue.

She added: “While many people are doing the right thing by cancelling their foreign holidays in the public interest – often at considerable financial loss – we have a Government that is being lax, particularly in respect of American tourists travelling here. We have been told to expect the publication of a green list of countries for the past month but we don’t know the reason for the delay.

“We are the only country in the EU that allows American tourists to travel here. We ignore the alarm bells raised by the health authorities at our peril.”

July 13, 2020

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